Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hotter Than a Mother

THE SCHOOL FOR HEIRESSES anthology will be out later this year. The anthology features stories by Liz Carlyle, Sabrina Jeffries, Renee Bernard and Julia London. I've looked everywhere for information on Renee Bernard; her website is down. She also has a book called A LADY'S PLEASURE out in October. Anyone have any info they'd like to share? I need to add more authors to my TO BUY list!

Melody Thomas has officially become part of MY FAVORITE AUTHORS club. I read her Donally series and am now just tickled pink. The last book in the series,
ANGEL IN MY BED, is incredible. Kristie, I know you bought it now! It's excellent!!! More books by her are headed our way; she's writing a new series which should be out in 2007. Woo hoo...happy day!

For Mary Balogh fans, some amazing news that had me jumping up and down. Mary says the following: the question was if I intend writing about Attingsborough, Lady Muir, and Angeline before writing the new series. The answer is no (though perhaps now is the time to hint that Attingsborough's story is already written and should be out late next year). I wanted to coax Dell into speeding up the publication schedule and so suggested a new series to publish in paperback and in quick succession--like the Bedwyn books. So Gwen and Angeline will have to wait yet again. And the new series will be entirely new--no leftover characters from other books. At least that is the intention now. Don't hold me to it!

Only true Balogh fans can comprehend how exciting it is to finally know that Attinsborough will get a novel soon; fans have been begging Balogh for years to write his story and it looks like persistence will finally pay off! Oh, joy!

For Suzanne Brockmann fans, here's a link to the website of the man who inspired the author's Navy Seal books. I have yet to read the books; but I will soon, believe me.

It's hotter than a mother here in SF and I cannot believe I have to be here at work when all I want to do is go out and enjoy the amazing weather

Monday, June 19, 2006

Blog Nightmare

No clue what the heck is going on with my was fine last night...argh!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Coming Soon

Laura Lee Guhrke has a new series coming up...I hope it's good. By the way, can anyone spell her last name without having to check the spelling on her website a zillion times?


The first of a new, four-book series set in Victorian England

The story of two people who are definitely not destined to be soul mates. Harry and Emma have nothing in common. They feel no spark. They don't even like each other. They certainly don't want to complicate their lives by anything as inconvenient as falling in love. Even Cupid has given up on them. And then, one shattering, lightning-bolt, make-your-toes-curl kiss changes everything they thought they knew about love and about each other.

The amazing Mary Balogh might be releasing her SIMPLY books earlier than expected and that makes me one happy girl. Balogh began her SIMPLY series (4 book series about teachers in a school for ladies...which yeah, is getting a little old, believe me) in 2005. Dell, her publishing company, was planning on releasing them all ONCE A YEAR (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH) in HARDCOVER (my wallet said FUCK , NO! heart? BUY IT!). Now word straight from the horse's mouth (sorry, Mary!) is that she...well, here you go...her words:

I maybe ought not to say this yet since my next contract is still very much in the negotiation stage and nothing is ever written in stone (or even in sand) in the publishing world. However, I have proposed a new five-part series and have suggested that the books be released in paperback and very close together as the SLIGHTLY series was. Dell is interested and has plans for bringing forward the remaining books in the SIMPLY quartet so that they can plan for the new series either late in 2008 or in 2009. If they carry through on that, both SIMPLY MAGIC (Susanna's story) and SIMPLY PERFECT (Claudia's) will be out next year, at least in hardcover. I'll give more details when things are a bit more definite.

Yeah, still in hardcover, but both next year hopefully. Can't have it all, I suppose.

I encourage all authors to beg for early releases and paperback prices. Your readers will be much appreciative.

I'm off now. Work has been torture and my blog has suffered, as well as my reading. We all had to scramble to get our stuff done by last ifs, ands or buts. Torture. Now we're locked out of our main system for two weeks. I'm sure more work will continue to pile in one way or another. In the meantime, summer is in a few days and we're having amazing weather. Hope it lasts! Cheers and have a great weekend!

For you Suzanne Brockmann fans, I have a link to the website of the man who is the inspiration for a good chunk of her novels. Will report more tomorrow. Have the site at work!

Lady of Fortune by Anne Stuart

As the child bride of and elderly husband, Lady Julianna of Moncrieff learned little of men and nothing of pleasure. So when the newly widowed lady finds herself thrown into the company of the mocking and elegant Nicholas Strangefellow, a maddening court jester sent by King Henry III to entertain at her mother's wedding, Julianna is more than wary; she is determined to keep her distance.

But it doesn't take long for the mysterious Nicholas to weave his wickedly sensual spell around her. And only when it is too late will Julianna discover what sort of man he really is...a coolly calculating spy out to steal a sacred relic—and her own innocent heart. Yet Nicholas is in for a shock of his own. For never did the king's fool imagine that he would become a fool for love...until the moment comes when he must choose between desire and betrayal.

Ever since I read Stuart's THE DEVIL'S WALTZ, I've wanted more! More of the nasty villain-like hero who is truly a sadistic piece of work, rather than a mere foppish idiot...more aspects that make him barely redeemable...more that would make me truly in awe of the woman able to capture and tame him. Most of the time I read a novel about a "villainous" hero who ends up being anything but. If you want to read about heroes who start off being truly fucked up, nasty, arrogant, overbearing, murderous, borderline psycho in their actions, then read a Stuart novel.

That being said, I can't honestly say the hero of this novel was that nasty; he was selfish by all means, willing to do anything to get what he wanted, including sleep with the heroine's mother (which he didn't because by that point he was all up in the heroine's grill and couldn't bring himself to do it). Yes, these personality traits and deficiencies are NOTHING compared to what Stuart has to offer in other novels.

I did enjoy the hero, however (and yes, I am deranged because I love these types of heroes so much). I loved his thought process and the way he pretended to be this total idiot when in fact he wasn't.

The heroine was guarded but not annoying. She wasn't TSTL and that pleased me. I didn't understand why the hero fell in love with her though. The book felt too short and never made me fully comprehend what the hero saw in the heroine. The book contained a secondary love story that was far more appealing..that of the heroine's mother and her new husband. Now that was HOT HOT and HOT! I wish Stuart had given the couple their own novel...their story was that intense.

The story is set in the Middle Ages. I usually read books set in the 1800s. It was interesting to read how very much like chattel women were treated at the time, married off to the highest bidder or, if noble, used to settle old scores or create alliances. I enjoyed that aspect of the book. I did find the novel funny. One of the funniest scenes was when the heroine thinks the hero has some sort of disease because his YOU KNOW WHAT is throbbing and hard. Despite the fact that she was married and is now a widow, the girl has no clue about sex. I'll let you read the book and find out why. The hero keeps a straight face throughout the heroine's worried rant but it's obvious he's reading to burst out laughing. Classic!

I enjoyed the story, but it didn't give me butterflies or make my heart sing. However, it was good and for that I would give it a big B. The hero was dark but not as dark as I would have wanted him to be. The heroine is not TSTL AND you get a bonus love story. What more can you ask for?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hell to the No

Whisked off to London by her newly revealed half brother, Miss Juliana Applegate is supposed to be looking for an eligible gentleman suitable for marriage. But when she arrives, an illness in her brother's household forces her to stay instead with his friend Lady Sealey—and her handsome grandson, Sir Oliver Ramsey. Sir Oliver has always felt clumsy and awkward around the fairer sex, but despite his gruffness, Juliana senses a gentleness in the man who seems at first more of a fierce Viking than a shy zoologist.

Soon, she has ample opportunity to test her theory about Sir Oliver, as they are thrown together time and again—first by chance, and then to work toward a common goal. Someone is sending Lady Sealey mysterious vengeful letters that threaten an imminent doom. When the attacks begin, Juliana and Oliver are determined to protect her—even at cost to their own hearts and growing passion, as well as their very lives...

A shy zoologist? thinks I'll pass on this July 2006 release. I'm all for the alpha psycho jealous arrogant mean yet warm and cuddling on the inside hero. This guy is too beta for his own good; sounds kinda wimpy!!! Plus, he totally looks like he's THIS CLOSE to falling to his death and taking the heroine with him. No, thanks!


It's not often that I read a romance that makes my heart sing and my senses hum. IN MY HEART by Melody Thomas did just that. A year ago I became eager to own any and every series book I could find. I stumbled upon the Donally series and kept the books hidden in my TBR trunk until this weekend. Had I known I would be reading such a amazing love story I would have picked up the book long ago. As many of you know, I've been in a work-related reading slump (i.e. too exhausted to read crap) for the last few weeks.

From the back blurb -
After a whirlwind courtship and elopement, Lady Alexandra Marshall watched helplessly as her husband was shipped off by her irate father. An annulment followed, and though Alexandra waited with packed bags, Christopher never returned for her. She has tried desperately to forget the only love she's ever known and now devotes herself to the British Museum. . .until she discovers that someone has pilfered a fortune in jewels.

His scandalous marriage to Alex had hardened Sir Christopher Donally against the aristocracy that labeled a man's worth by the titles he carried rather than by his deeds. Now with a new bride in his future and a sister who is about to enter society. Christopher is detemined to put the past behind him. But when Alex asks for his help in finding a thief, he agrees, in exchange for her support in launching his sister. Though running into Alex was not planned, nor his emotional reaction welcomed, he can't help but be undone by one single, soul-stirring kiss...

There are few books that capture my attention as much as this one did. Thomas is a remarkable author. The interaction between the lead characters melted my heart at every turn. There were no misunderstandings, no resentment, no hiding of emotions. From the start, the heroine admitted she was still in love with the hero. Shocking, huh? The hero did the same. Now...I've read several romances with premises similar to this one and I don't think I've ever stumbled upon a heroine so willing to throw her emotions out on the table. Alex loves Christopher and she will do anything for a second chance. The way these two fight for their love is astonishing, only because it is something I rarely see in romances. Thomas focuses on the romance between the leads, never letting any secondary character or plot twist take control or attention away from their love story.

I loved this book. The heroine's vulnerability and courage were refreshing; she was not afraid to speak her heart. The hero's own love for the heroine was never masked; there were no denials, no vows on his part to make the heroine's life a living hell (which we see all too often in novels these days).

My heart is still beating so fast. I recommend this book to all. I cannot wait to read the second in this series, which I hear is just as good.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


To: Karen Hawkins
From: Moi
Re: Another Chance

There was a time when I was addicted to your books. Each time I heard a new book of yours was out in stores, I'd rush to the nearest bookstore and buy it immediately. I couldn't even wait a day. I was obsessed and addicted and ill and incandescently happy each time I heard you were releasing a new novel. Then AND THE BRIDE WORE PLAID came out, followed by LADY IN RED. I was appalled, bored to tears and distraught because I simply could not read the books. They were terrible and I couldn't believe they were written by you. Were they? I'm hoping you were suffering from writer's block or something...maybe you were under pressure, some deadline. All I know is that it's still hard for me to believe they were your works. They couldn't be!!!

I tried to read AND THE BRIDE, but stopped the torture at Chapter 3 and donated the book to the Salvation Army (sorry, guys!).

I struggled through LADY IN RED and was left with the worst taste in my mouth at the end of it. I decided then and there that I would not purchase any of your books again. Too harsh, perhaps? At the time, I didn't think so.

Today I was at Walmart and noticed your new book HER OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN. The premise showed great promise. The cover was slightly cheesy but I like the red a great deal. Soon, excitement at the prospect of reading a new Hawkins book was back and I immediately grabbed it off the shelf and bought it.

I've decided to give you another shot because you are a very talented author and I cannot forget that once upon a time I loved your books to the point of obsession. Perhaps I am too forgiving a person; perhaps I shouldn't give you another chance after two flops (well, they were flops in my opinion).

Perhaps you were merely so excited to be finishing your Talisman Ring series, you fumbled terribly with the last two books. Honestly, I don't know. I'm just trying to forget the last two books even existed at this point.

Perhaps you are back on track. I certainly hope so!!! Your website is now updated regularly and I must say that I like its look. Your books seem to be getting decent reviews. I may end up kicking myself for reading your new book, but then again maybe I won't.

I pray my hopes will not be disappointed. I'll be sure to let you know!

Friday, June 09, 2006

I'm No Genius

Apparently, several bookstores in the San Francisco area (or at least the ones I go to) only had defective copies of Laura Lee Guhrke's SHE'S NO PRINCESS.

I posted earlier that I purchased a copy of Guhrke's new book with several pages missing from the text. I was a bit irked, since I wanted to read the book for some time, but dealt with the disappointment and went to the Barnes & Noble I bought it from the next day. I exchanged it for another copy and walked out. I didn't check the book to make sure it had all of its pages. Yes, I am an idiot...or I was on that day. My brain is fried from work...what else can I say?

Where am I going with this? Well, as soon as I got home and opened up the book, eager to read the story, I discovered that it had the same pages missing as the first copy.


I should have checked. I didn't. Went back to the store and realized that all of their books were missing pages. Got my money back. Went to another bookstore the following day. Pages missing again. I was beginning to despair. Today I went to yet another book store and FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY...I have the book. It's all there. Intact. Not defective. I am happy. Very happy. Started the book. Good so far. Hopefully, Guhrke won't fuck it up!

Be the first to call me an idiot...I still can't believe I exchanged one defective copy for another. I cannot stress this enough to myself: I NEED A VACATION!!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Surprise Surprise

Bought Laura Lee Guhrke's SHE'S NO PRINCESS yesterday. Flipped through it and discovered the same #16 Font many Avon books have been sporting lately. Oh...discovered several blank pages...about 20 or so, too! Nice! It's back to Barnes & Noble today to get a better copy. Who's responsible for making sure books are NOT being sold defective? Book stores? Publishers? No clue. I was irritated yesterday. Still am. Not having such a great day. Woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It's one of those "not feeling good in one's skin" days. Bleh...

In other news, Lisa Kleypas posted a trailer for her August release SCANDAL IN SPRING. Check it out. I can't wait for August!!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Wanted: Man to Play Boyfriend

Haven't read a book in weeks. I've been too busy at work and I'm left with zero energy at the end of the day. All I want to do right now is go home, sit on the couch and watch television. I'll be back with reviews and romance tidbits hopefully by Wednesday.

In the meantime, know that my folks are getting more and more desperate to "hook" me up with someone. My mother wants me to meet the random Italian guy I mentioned in my earlier posts. She mentioned she'd like me to come over to her friends' house for dinner and meet this guy. My response: NO F-ING WAY! Again I cannot help but notice how very romance novel-like this aspect of my life sounds...again, if I were a romance heroine, I would ask some random stranger or a hot friend of mine (which unfortunately I don't have) to pretend to be my boyfriend (look MOM, I don't need your guy; I've already found the love of my life) and then, of course, we'd end up falling madly in love and having a great life together. Wait...this sorta sounds like that stupid Jennifer Aniston movie, co-starring that guy from LAST COMIC STANDING.